The History Behind Michael Jordan Motorsports

May 11, 2020
Mnea Minogue

  • Michael Jordan Motorsports

If you are a sports lover, then you’ve probably heard the name Michael Jordan once or twice. Michael is a basketball legend known for his time on the pitch during his prime days in the NBA. Besides basketball, he has accomplished a lot after retirement, like being the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, starring in a movie, and owning the Air Jordan sneakers.

Although many people know about Michael’s career and participation in sports, not everyone knows about his involvement in motorsports. Michael has been a motorsports fan long before he even joined the NBA. This passion led to the establishment of his motorcycle team in 2004.

Establishing the Michael Jordan Motorsports Team

Michael Jordan has a lifelong history of riding speed bikes, but he had to give this passion a break when he signed his first NBA contract. Being a professional basketballer meant riding would be a big liability for Michael and his employer. However, dedicating his time to basketball didn’t kill his passion for riding. He still wanted to take part in motorsports.

Since Jordan could not ride anymore, he decided to start the Michael Jordan Motorsports team in 2004. He teamed up with Peter Mauhar, an experienced racing team manager with the capability to organize riders. The thought of Michael Jordan establishing a racing team sounded unreal to Mauhar until it happened.

Mauhar organized a team right before the Daytona race, which was to take place in a few weeks.

Designing the Bikes and Riding Gear

Being a creator, Jordan embarked on designing suits, bikes, and other requirements to his personal specs. To achieve this, he sought the assistance of Nike’s senior creative director of innovation, Mark Smith. This collaboration came as a surprise to Mark because he didn’t know about Michael’s racing team. The designs had to be ready within a few weeks before the first race.

Apart from designing the suits and the bikes, Mark Smith also designed Jordan sneakers for the racing team. This was the icing on the cake as it gave the riders the backing they needed to perform.

The First Race

Although it takes nearly a year or more to prepare a racing team, Michael was able to organize his team within a few weeks. The team’s performance was a respectable one despite the short window for preparations. Their first season recorded a decent performance that nobody expected.

Although the team was work in progress, there were a lot of positives drawn from the Daytona race. Michael dedicated time to meeting and knowing the riders before and after the first race. His presence was a morale booster to the entire team.

The End of an Era

Michael Jordan’s Motorsports team took part in motor racing for one decade. Through this period, a lot of amazing footwear and merchandise bearing the Jordan logo appeared on the market. Suzuki’s Yoshimura factory won a record of 10 consecutive championships during this racing period. However, Jordan’s team managed to win the 2010 championship.

Michael announced the suspension of his team’s participation in the AMA Superbike program in 2013. The curtains came down in 2014 after a series of key sponsors withdrew their involvement in the program. However, Michael Jordan is still a big fan of motorsports to date.